When every woman thrives -Cambodia

The project

This project increases the active participation of women and young people in taking active leadership roles and improving their livelihood resilience. Gender based violence is a significant barrier to women and youth participating in the community. Through the organisation of local groups, our project enables women and youth to build confidence in leadership roles in their communities and to voices issues. By increasing the active participation of community members, particularly women, the project aims to empower communities and improve their self-assertiveness and decision-making process in five villages in Kampong Chhnang Province, Cambodia.

The Women’s Empowerment in Local Community Development project aims to support and strengthen civil societies by increasing participation of marginalised groups, specifically women, in decision-making process and community development.  The project works to address long standing social and cultural structures that create barriers to gender equality and hinder women’s engagement in commune development. Women are supported in building their leadership skills and enhancing their confidence to advocate for change and to promote the inclusion of their concerns and interests on the community development agenda.

Project outcomes and achievements

26 members from five villages created a Gender Task Force where they received training and education in advocacy and gender issues. They used new skills and knowledge to become an example of change for their community. They have successfully promoted gender equality by encouraging community leaders to add gender issues to the community development agenda, and have run workshops to train, share, and address gender inequality.

Many women in the Gender Task Force have reported that they now have greater self confidence in themselves and their abilities to participant and take on leadership roles. These changes have been significant in the progress towards women empowerment and supporting gender equality in the community.

The successful establishment of the Gender Task Force is strongly supported by local authorities, and works to drive change regarding gender and inclusiveness. Our efforts extend to other villagers:  147 have accessed training on gender issues, advocacy, and services.

The challenge

Community members, especially women and young people, in Chak commune are impacted by gender norms that inhibit them taking a participatory role in community development process. Gender based violence is a significant barrier to women and youth participating in the community. Women and young people are some of the most vulnerable members of these communities when it comes to resource allocation and management.

Women and youth in the Chak Commune are disadvantaged through a lack of opportunity to create social change by engaging in decision-making to promote their interests and priorities. With low levels of confidence and limited support, participating in commune council meetings and integrating gender issues into commune plans is difficult. Through the assistance of Assisi Aid Projects’ in-country partner, Live and Learn Cambodia, we support these women and youth to engage in leadership roles in their community.

Our goals

  1. Women and youth from target communities have increased self-motivation, efficacy, and confidence
  2. Women and youth have increased representation and voices
  3. Women have strengthened economic leadership

Activities

The project supports women and youth in improving leadership skills and self-confidence through training, engaging and leading their own initiatives, and providing exposure and exchange visits with other like-minded groups within the country.  The project provides opportunities to participate in and represent their community, through engagement with local authorities in meetings and planning processes, and in workshops, dialogues, and forums. 

The need to strengthen women’s participation in commune development was identified in a community and gender analysis conducted in Chak Commune in February 2018. The analysis found a lack of opportunity for women to promote their interests. Women had low levels of confidence in commune council meetings and in integrating issues in the commune plan. The project advocates for more communication between community members, particularly women, and the commune council. The projects empower community members, especially women, to understand what the council can and cannot do and how community plans and priorities can be brought to the council to be integrated into the Commune Investment Plan.

The Gender Task Force is a youth led community group consisting of 15 people aged between 18 and 29, and ten adults. The group has had special recognition from local authorities, working to drive change regarding gender and inclusiveness in the community. The Gender Task Force facilitates the mobilisation of communities, consultations, data collection processes and development of activities.

.

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program.